Iconic civil rights building torn down in Columbia

COLUMBIA, S.C. –┬áCivil rights pioneer George Elmore lost his Waverly 5-and-10 cent store in the late 1940s when he dared to put his name on a lawsuit ending South Carolina’s all-white primaries, a decision leading to economic reprisals and his financial ruin.

Now, the old brick storefront that sat at 2313 Gervais St. is lost again, this time reduced to a pile of rubble and a swift demolition by the church next door, First Nazareth Baptist Church.

In an ironic twist, a historic marker was placed in front of the 1935 building a week earlier during a ceremony attended by city leaders, academics and church members, honoring Elmore and his contributions to the state’s civil rights history.

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